Blanker - 'All's Fair, Vol. I'

7/10

Ever since he first emerged, New York-based guitarist/singer John Norwood has always used his Blanker project to push the boundaries of modern indie-rock aesthetics. Regularly inviting a diverse mix of other genres and aesthetics into the fold, his tenure to date has been this wildly explorative venture that looks to unravel convention in pursuit of something new and distinctive to himself. And with the response to his 2022 album 'Cars On Fire' continuing that positive ascent, he returns with his new EP 'All's Fair, Vol.I', a release brimming with more of that adventurous spirit.

Marked as the first of two sister EPs he is planning to release this year, 'All's Fair, Vol.I' makes for an incredibly rich and immersive listen. While the opener 'Swinging Haymakers' comes out of the gates with a blistering pace and ferocious energy, the collection quickly switches gears between almost every track, delivering an extremely eclectic experience throughout. All heightened by Norwood's own passionate vocals from start to finish, he returns to the fold with some of his most interesting offerings to date here.

While it may only be the first half of his full project, it is clear that the Blanker name is keen to spread those creative wings once again. Dabbling in this vibrant menagerie of textures and tones at every turn, he is continuing to shine as one of the more captivating additions to the new music scene right now.

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